Lycamobile is an MVNO operating in over 60 countries across the globe, but based in the UK. It is well known for offering affordable SIM-only plans, and is especially aimed at people who want to make cheap international calls. But is Lycamobile any good? Read on to find out.
At a glance
|The good:||The bad:|
|Range of flexible, short-term plans||No monthly contracts available|
|Unlimited data tariffs available||Relatively expensive pay-as-you-go plans|
|International calls included as standard||Credit expires after 90 days|
|Free calls/texts to other Lycamobile numbers||No tethering available|
|Credit can be transferred between accounts||Charges apply when calling customer service|
Lycamobile SIM-Only deals
Lycamobile offer a range 30-day bundles.
The primary motivation to choose Lycamobile is its international plans – which allow comparatively cheap calls and texts to a wide variety of countries. Mobile deals include: the Global Bundle (to 39 countries worldwide), the Far East Bundle (for selected East Asian countries), the Eastern Bundle (for some Eastern European countries) and the Your Country Bundle, which allows you to select a specific country, or countries, as part of your package.
They also have National plans, which give an allowance of calls, texts and data usage within the UK only, as well as Student Plans, Monthly Plans and Data Plans. All in all, there is a wide range of options available, as well as Pay-As-You-Go SIMs.
Lycamobile runs off the O2 network, so coverage is the same as O2’s. As much as 99% of the UK population can get 4G indoors. However, it’s worth noting that O2’s overall performance isn’t the best of the Big Four mobile networks, with average download speeds far slower than its rivals at just 18Mbps.
However, in terms of coverage, you likely won’t notice the difference unless you live in a super rural region. You should always to use a coverage checker to ensure you’ll get cover where you live, which you can do via the Lycamobile and O2 websites.
5G is currently being rolled out across the UK too, meaning you could get to enjoy much faster speeds very soon.
What devices can I get on Lycamobile?
Because Lycamobile is a SIM-only network, they don’t offer handsets as part of their pay monthly contracts. You’ll need to have a phone already.
That being said, they do offer a modest range of handsets which you can buy outright. It’s not a vast catalogue, but you should be able to find popular releases by all the main manufacturers. If you are looking to buy a handset, consider whether buying a phone outright from Lycamobile gives you the best deal when compared with other retailers.
Benefits of Lycamobile
What makes Lycamobile stand out is its competitive international calls and text bundles – great for keeping in touch with friends and family around the world.
You’ll also get free calls to other Lycamobile users and you can transfer credit to other Lycamobile accounts, for instance to a friend or relative abroad, using the Airtime Transfer Service. Plus, because it’s a pay-as-you-go network, you’re not locked into anything long-term, and you won’t need to pass a credit check
Certain other perks include a 10% student discount and a Refer-A-Friend reward scheme.
What network does Lycamobile use?
Lycamobile is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, meaning it doesn’t have its own infrastructure. Instead, it uses the O2 network to provide its service, which is why you’ll need to check O2’s coverage where you are. It’s one of many operators of this kind in the UK.
How to top up Lycamobile
If you’re on a 30-day plan, then at the end of each month you’ll need to select a new one. You can do this either via Lycamobile’s website or the app by popping in your mobile number and selecting your desired bundle; you’ll need a credit or debit card to pay. You can also set your account to auto-top up, so you never run out of your allowance.
If you have a Pay-As-You-Go SIM, you need to order vouchers to top up; these can be bought either in store or on Lycamobile’s website. You can then top up directly from your phone using the voucher code. You’ll need to top up a minimum of £5, but you’ll often get given extra credit when you do.
How to check Lycamobile balance
It’s really easy to check your Lycamobile balance. Simply type *131# for an on-screen balance, or call 321.
Alternatively, you can login to your My Lycamobile account either through your web browser or via the app. Here, you’ll be able to see your remaining balance on either your Pay-As-You-Go SIM or on your bundle.
Alternatives to Lycamobile
Lycamobile operates in 60 countries, which is a pretty far reach for an MVNO. But considering its biggest selling point is its international bundles, it doesn’t necessarily offer the best value for money unless you snap up a promotional offer.
Instead, you could look to Lebara who have a similar business model of providing affordable international calls to family and friends abroad. However, it’s hard to explicitly say which is better, as it’ll depend on your individual needs.
If you’re specifically looking for international minutes, then these two providers would be your best shout. However, if you have no need for international minutes, you’ll get much better value bundles for calls, texts and data allowance with other providers.